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Australia seals deal for Moderna vaccines

Australia has secured 25 million doses of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine from the United States.

The first 10 million doses of the double-shot jab will be delivered by the end of this year.

People aged under 50 are set to receive the Moderna vaccine.

Another 15 million booster shots are set to arrive next year, designed to guard against emerging strains of the virus.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it was important to prepare for possible variants of the disease.

“We’re now well into the phase of dealing with what’s coming next because the pandemic is not going anywhere,” he told Perth radio 6PR on Thursday.

US citizens get the Moderna jab in Seattle in May.
Camera IconModerna it will supply Australia with 25 million does of two types of its coronavirus vaccination. Credit: AP

The vaccine and booster shot are still subject to approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration before they can be used in Australia.

Moderna is an mRNA – or messenger RNA – vaccine produced overseas. Australia does not have the domestic capacity to manufacture the jab.

But the US biotech company has expressed interest in setting up an Australian base.

“We look forward to continuing discussions with Australia about establishing potential local manufacturing opportunities,” Moderna chief executive Stephane Bancel said.

In the meantime, the federal government is focused on rolling out the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines.

More than 2.8 million vaccine doses have been administered across the country.

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